Even when he made his first solo albums back in the early 70s, Don Williams was in possession of a smooth, mature voice that sounded like it belonged to a world-worn elder statesman. His first new release for eight years sees the now 73- year-old Williams further consolidate his reputation as country music’s gentle giant.
This is laidback, old school country, where softly plucked guitars and whispered confessionals provide a soundtrack to suns setting behind porches. There’s no agenda, no axes to grind, no biting social observation; the dreamy duet with Alison Krauss, I Just Come Here For The Music, could very well be Don’s theme tune.
The nearest he comes to kicking up a storm is on the mandolin canter of Imagine That, or when violins threaten to break a sweat on the chorus of What If It Worked Like That?, featuring another young buck, Keith Urban. For the most part, it’s Williams caressing the mic with tales of tender regret, none more achingly beautiful than the cantina twirl of First Fool In Line.